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The University of Southampton

EDUC6453 Dissertation

Module Overview

This is your final module and the largest that you will complete during your MSc studies. In this module you will undertake, with guidance from an academic supervisor, a small-scale research project in an area of your interest.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Make your own contribution to educational understanding by presenting a coherent, detailed and sustained argument at length on an educational topic.
  • Critically evaluate an appropriate range of relevant primary source materials and arguments reflected in other sources and propose a relevant area of investigation.
  • Choose and evaluate a feasible independent research design, project plan and structure.
  • Demonstrate your critical understanding of institutional ethical and governance procedures relating to research.
  • Demonstrate a considered application of data collection and analysis methods.
  • Analyse and synthesise research findings.
  • Present in a detailed report, the findings of a small scale research project.


In undertaking this module you will cover aspects of the following: - Strategies for focusing and managing the research process. - Quantitative and qualitative methodologies and approaches to research. - Key data collection methods (surveys, interviews, focus groups, observation). - Methods for analysing and interpreting data. - Dissertation writing and presentation skills

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

The dissertation is an independent study. You will be allocated an academic advisor to support you through the module. However the majority of the module will be undertaken independently.

Completion of assessment task594
Total study time600

Resources & Reading list

Thomas, G. (2013). How to do your research project: A guide for students in education and applied social sciences. (Core Textbook). 

Muijs, D. (2010). Doing quantitative research in education with SPSS. (Core Textbook). 

Punch, K. & Oancea, A. (2014). Introduction to research methods in education. (Core Textbook). 

Atkins, L., & Wallace, S. (2012). Qualitative research in education. (Core Textbook). 



MethodPercentage contribution
Diligence and Initiative  (17 words) 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Revised Dissertation  (17000 words) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External


Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:

Books and Stationery equipment

4 Core Textbooks Where a module specifies core texts these should generally be available electronically on the reserve list in the library. However due to demand, students may prefer to buy their own copies. These can be purchased from any source. Please note that the vast majority of readings are available electronically through e-journals, as digitised text in the Online Course Collection or as e-books. Some modules suggest reading texts as optional background reading. The library may hold copies of such texts, or alternatively you may wish to purchase your own copies. Although not essential reading, you may benefit from the additional reading materials for the module.

Printing and Photocopying Costs

For all modules, coursework (such as essays; projects; dissertations) is submitted on line.

Travel Costs for placements

Where students wish to attend a scientific conference during their studies, they are liable for any accommodation cost associated (as well as any conference registration fees). Where students wish to attend a scientific conference during their studies, they are liable for any travel cost associated.

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

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